Divergent Paths: Fujifilm vs. Sony

rey spadoni, 2 guys photo, divergent paths

I’m pretty squarely in the camp of ‘the future belongs to mirrorless‘, because I’m rather fond of the smaller and lighter form factor (that’s bodies and lenses) and can clearly see with me own two eyes that the image quality of the newer product introductions is now rivaling larger kits.  Clearly.

I recently raved about the Olympus OM-D EM-5 (see here) and have liked the Sony NEX 5N (here) and disliked the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 (here).  Given those reviews, you’d maybe think that Olympus and its micro four thirds format would be running away with the market.  [Note that Nikon has released the underwhelming (and sized) Nikon 1 system and Canon has announced its EOS M mirrorless, though that looks underpowered (what, no VF?) and outgunned.]  But not so fast there.  Sony and Fujifilm have announced a couple of new bodies that have the whole of the photoworld buzzing like bees.  Both are 16 megapixel whizbang electronic view finder beauties, each with plenty of state-of-the-art features to keep even the most gearheadish among us occupied for months… but they take decidedly different approaches to the shooting experience.  And to marketing.

The Fujifilm (X-E1) appeals to the old world, retro-loving, slower paced approach that would have seemed right at home to Henri Cartier-Bresson had he been still shooting in the present day.  The Sony (NEX 6) seems aimed at the hey now crowd, with downloadable apps and a more modern look and feel.  There’s no doubt both are capable shooters and 2 Guys Photo will have plenty to say when they hit the streets, but for now, I must admit to being fascinated by this difference in style and feel.  The Fujifilm provides a cool metallic knob and dial interface while Sony has offered things like powerzoom and configurable, unmarked buttons.  Note the marketing pieces below: one for the new ability to modify the onboard capabilities via purchasable apps (yup, Sony) and the other for the Cartier-Bressonesque approach to old world… shot in Morocco, so really, really old world… shooting (Fujifilm, you guessed it).

So, which are you?



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3 Responses to Divergent Paths: Fujifilm vs. Sony

  1. mikeronesia says:

    Still like my Panny.

  2. Prentis says:

    I think what you are saying is that if a camera provides a dial for speed and another for aperture it is “old world.” Conversely the Sony and the like set up shots with menus and programmed features. With downloadable apps Sony is clearly targeting the tech savvy smart phone user. The two videos are also telling in the two photographer’s subject selection, artful and street VS a social happening with friends. Setting up a primarily automatic camera body (eg: Sony) for thoughtful shot where some photographer interaction with the settings comes into play can be done but involves some menu diving. For the Fujifilm camera it is right there in front of you in the form of dials. It is a very different philosophy in shooting. I lean toward the Fujifilm design direction but I can always put the camera on automatic as well.

    As a recent Fujifilm X100 user I look at these mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras as replacements for my Nikon D90 and a stable of lenses. However once you can’t pocket the camera and commit to carrying a camera bag for more lenses it is strictly a matter of poundage. There are distinct advantages to a DSLR in terms of optical through the lens focusing and framing as well as focus speed to name a few. It is all very interesting though. As these new cameras develop I can see these advantages will begin to diminish and I may have to reconsider my approach. Hey, it is only money!

  3. John says:

    I am looking at picture quality first. I have seen the results and Fuji wins hands down. But I do like many aspects of the NEX6. It would be a toss up if the NEX had a little better image quality. If the Fuji had a few changes for instance the rear screen had more resolution and articulated it would be better.The Fuji although having less lenses has better lenses.Yet they are both due to get Zeiss lenses. If I were a young photographer I would have a harder time deciding but I love the Fuji and the color it renders.

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